European stocks extended gains on Monday, after strong euro zone data, although investors remained cautious ahead of the Federal Reserve''s monthly policy meeting scheduled later in the week.
During European afternoon trade, the EURO STOXX 50 jumped 1.28%, France’s CAC 40 gained 0.94%, while Germany’s DAX 30 rallied 1.37%.
European equities gained groung after data showed that the euro zone’s composite output index rose to a three month high of 52.1 in December, from 51.7 in November.
The euro zone’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index rose to a 31 month high of 52.7 in December, from a final reading of 51.6 in November and above expectations for a reading of 51.9.
However, the currency bloc’s services PMI ticked down to 51.0 from 51.2 in November, falling short of expectations for an uptick to 51.5.
Germany’s manufacturing PMI rose to a 30-month high of 54.2 in December, up from 52.7 in November, while the country’s services PMI ticked down to 54.0 this month from 55.7 in November, compared to expectations for a decline to 55.5.
Meanwhile, investors were eyeing the outcome of the Fed’s upcoming policy meeting on Wednesday, with some expecting the bank to announce a small reduction in the pace of its USD85 billion-a-month asset purchase program.
Financial stocks were broadly higher, as French lenders BNP Paribas and Societe Generale climbed 0.57% and 0.54%, while Germany''s Deutsche Bank rallied 1.32%.
Among peripheral lenders, Spanish banks BBVA and Banco Santander surged 2.25 and 2.36% respectively, while Italy''s Unicredit and Intesa Sanpaolo gained 2.09% and 2.39%.
Elsewhere, Carrefour jumped 1.66% after the French retailer joined a group of institutional investors to buy 127 European shopping malls in a EUR2 billion transaction, giving the company more control of the sites around its hypermarkets.
In London, FTSE 100 advanced 0.70%.
Financial stocks remained mostly higher, as HSBC Holdings gained 0.49% and Barclays climbed 0.45%, while the Royal Bank of Scotland rallied 1.80%. Lloyds Banking underperformed on the other hand, down 0.30%.
Mining stocks were also on the upside, as shares in Glencore Xstrata rose 0.62% and Rio Tinto advanced 0.61%, while rival company Vedanta Resources surged 2%.
In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a higher open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.39% rise, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.43% increase, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.42% gain.
Also Monday, data showed that the preliminary reading of China’s HSBC manufacturing index ticked down to a three-month low of 50.5 in December from a final reading of 50.8 in November. Economists had expected the index to rise to 51.0.
Later in the day, the U.S. was to release reports on industrial production, manufacturing activity in the New York region and the balance of foreign and domestic investment in U.S. securities.
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